Joshua Harris apologizes for 'I Kissed Dating Goodbye': 'I was religiously zealous'

Pastor Joshua Harris is the author of books such as 'I Kissed Dating Goodbye' and 'Boy Meets Girl.'(Facebook/Joshua Harris)

Joshua Harris blazed a trail for the Christian dating field when he released his book, "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" back in 1997. In it, he urged Christians not to date for the sake of dating and adhere to God's view on love.

However, there is no single roadmap for love. A lot of people complained that the book messed up their romantic lives, and some even claimed they now have a distorted view of sexuality and marriage.

Harris used a recent TED x Talk to try and put things right.

"In today's world, we spend so much energy being right and proving others wrong," he said, according to the Gospel Herald. "Twenty years ago I wrote a best-selling book about dating that I'm now realizing misguided and even hurt some people. I'm hoping that my experience of listening to my critics and reevaluating my conclusions will inspire others to see that progress and growth always involves the humbling process of admitting mistakes."

Harris told people to commit to "purposeful singleness" in his book, and he added that romantic relationships should only exist when they are headed towards marriage. He also warned people off dating because there could be sexual temptations lurking in every corner.

But not everybody who kissed dating goodbye ended up with a happy marriage. Some people who decided not to date felt they did not know what they wanted in a romantic partner and didn't get to know their partners better prior to getting married.

Harris now thinks he could have written his book differently. "I didn't leave room for the idea that dating could be a healthy way of learning what you're looking for in a long-term relationship, that it could be a part of growing personally," he said. "I gave the impression that there was one formula that you could follow, and if you followed that, you'd be happily married, God would bless you, and you'd have a great sex life and marriage."

He said he was young and "religiously zealous" when he wrote the book, and he was also "restlessly ambitious."